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Some religious newspapers for the deaf [updated]

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 23 March 2012

It can be very confusing trying to identify the various combinations of newspapers and missionary journals aimed at Deaf people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was often a struggle for these papers or journals to survive, as they had to find their widely distributed audience and persuade poor people to part with their money to buy copies. They would seem to have been labours of love, and were naturally impregnated with a strong religious element. The Rev. Gilby, about whom we have written previously, was involved with a few of these papers. This is a brief attempt to show the relationship of some of them.

The Deaf and Dumb Herald and Public Intelligencer (1876), by Ralph Clegg, see that link for more details.  Not really a religious paper, though it had of course rtones of that.  It is here because t may have been confused with Gilby’s Herald, see below.

Our Little Messenger to the Deaf and Dumb (1882-?) was a heavily religious short pamplet with some news items on the back page, published by Miss E. Jones of The Mall, Ballyshannon, County Donegal.  

Gilby’s first attempt at a ‘paper’, or perhaps a journal, appears to have been –

The Herald (1885-7), which is mentioned in the first edition of Our Quarterly Paper (1892-3), where it says, “Those of our readers who know the editor best, will remember that many good things were said and printed in it, though with much labour.”  We have not see any copies and it is possible none survive.  Gilby does not talk much about his papers in his memoirs and does not mention eother of these by name.

Our Monthly Church Messenger to the Deaf, (1894-5) edited by Gilby, A. Macdonald Cuttell and W.W. Adamson.  Adamson (1867-1947) was first chaplain for the Deaf at Newcastle Deaf School.  A native of that city, Adamson was educated at Dr. Bruce’s Academy.  From the age of 18 he took a great interest in the Deaf, as in his Boy’s Club he met a Deaf and Dumb boy and got him educated at the Northern Counties School for the Deaf, then recently moved from a house in Charlotte Sq. to Town Moor.  There he found many other Deaf children and from that day in 1885 his vocation was found.  He became a Lay Missioner then a Chaplain and Canon.

In 1896 Our Monthly Church Messenger to the Deaf, became –

Ephphatha, and in 1897 the sole editor was Mr A. Macdonald Cuttell.  This paper amalgamated with-

The British Deaf Monthly in 1899.

The news sheet or circular Our Notice Board, begun in 1901, seems to have been an R.A.D.D. production for the London mission.  Later on ephphatha would be published with local mission newsletters like this one.

Ten years later Gilby was once more involved with editing a newspaper, and he revived his title,

Ephphatha (1909). This paper, or small magazine, included the R.A.D.D. circular, and became the R.A.D.D. magazine. In 1948 it started a new series, but in 1959 it finally ended its run.

[Updated 16/10/2015]

For more information on our holdings of these and other Deaf papers, please contact the Action on Hearing Loss Library.


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